LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — During a Southwest Airlines flight to Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday, one of the on-duty pilots suffered in-flight medical emergency. Fortunately, an off-duty pilot who happened to be a passenger on the flight promptly stepped in to offer his assistance to fly the aircraft.

The incident took place shortly after takeoff from Las Vegas and was confirmed by Southwest Airlines.

The pilot from the other airline, who had the required credentials, entered the flight deck and helped with radio communication while the Southwest pilot continued to fly the aircraft.

A nurse who was among the passengers offered assistance in caring for the pilot who experienced a medical emergency.

“The captain became incapacitated while en route. He’s in the back of the aircraft right now with a flight attendant, but we need to get him on an ambulance immediately,” the Southwest first officer called ATC.

As per the data available on, the Southwest Airlines flight was in the air for approximately 1 hour and 17 minutes before it was safely returned to Las Vegas. The airline reported that following the medical emergency, a backup crew boarded the aircraft, and the flight resumed its journey to Columbus as scheduled.

Southwest did not release further details on the pilot’s condition.